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Last updated: 20 Dec 2019

content-publisher: 14. Political and Government Tagging

Date: 2019-12-19


In ADR 6 we discussed our decision to defer the tagging of governments and political status to content. In December 2019 the political climate determined that we would need to implement this as it was expected that content published through Content Publisher would have to be able to enter history mode.

In order for content to be in history mode it needs to be associated with a government that is no longer the current one and the content itself be flagged as political. This tagging broadly means that the content represents the policies of the government it is associated with.

The business rules behind this feature dictate that the political status of content is determined dynamically based on attributes and associations of the content. The government is determined based on the time the content is first published or backdated to.


To implement this feature we decided to add a service that runs each time content is edited which can determine whether the content is political or not. If the content has been published or is backdated it can also determine the government. This data is stored in the editions database table. As this value is dynamically calculated only the current value is stored as it is not considered an aspect of the publications history.

The political value for the content can be overwritten by a publisher. This value is known as editor_political and supersedes the value stored on an edition, which is known as system_political. As this data is set by a publisher it is considered part of a revision of a document and is stored for prosperity.

When content has not been published or backdated it is not associated with a government. At the point of content being published the current time is used to determine the government.

When sent to the Publishing API, these fields are represented in the form of a boolean attribute for political and an edition link for the government. In the time since ADR 6 governments have been added to the Publishing API which means that content associated with a government no longer needs to be republished when the government is no longer current.




Content Publisher now has an approach for determining dynamic properties of content automatically based on user edits.

Content Publisher will often have to update the preview of content just before publishing to set the correct government. This increases the tasks done at the point of publishing and, therefore, increases the risk of a timeout.